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3 Different Methods of Tempering Chocolate

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Tempering is an important process in working with chocolate. After all, having stable chocolate with a shiny appearance and a firm texture is what we all want. Therefore, it’s important for you to know the proper methods of tempering chocolate.

temperatures in tempering process

In tempering chocolate, temperature is one of the most important aspects you need to pay attention to. Tempering chocolate consists of heating the chocolate to a certain temperature, cooling it to a certain temperature, and then heating it again to a working temperature. The exact temperature we’re going for is also different depending on the type of chocolate you are tempering:

Temperature

Dark Chocolate

Milk Chocolate

White Chocolate

Temperature 1

Melt the chocolate

50-55°C

45-50°C

45-50°C

Temperature 2

Shock cooling

28-29°C

27-28°C

26-27°C

Temperature 3

Re-heat to reach working temperature

31-32°C

30-31°C

29-30°C

 

Methods of Tempering Chocolate

cara tempering

Method 1: Seeding

Level of difficulty: Low

Seeding is the easiest method of tempering. However, you should pay extra attention to the chocolate you’re using. The chocolate you use as a “seed” in this method has to be chocolate that’s never been melted before and is still in temper. It is best to use a recently bought chocolate that is still far from its expiry date.

Here is how you do the seeding method:

  1. Using bain-marie or microwave method, heat ⅔ of the chocolate until the first temperature.
  2. Once it has reached the desired temperature, take the chocolate off the heat. Then, add the rest of the chocolate and stir constantly until the chocolate completely melts.
  3. After the chocolate has melted and the second temperature is reached (26-29°C depending on the type of chocolate), get the bowl of chocolate back on the pan filled with hot water and heat it to the working temperature. Lastly, turn off the heat and set it aside.

Method 2: Ice Bath

Level of difficulty: Medium

Ice bath is a method where after the chocolate is melted, we use a bowl of ice and water to cool the chocolate down.

What you need to keep in mind is that water is chocolate’s worst enemy, so be careful to not get even a drop of water onto the chocolate. If water gets into the chocolate, the chocolate will seize and turn into a grainy paste, and it will be very difficult to turn it back to its original state. Therefore, don’t let water get into your chocolate. Have a kitchen towel or cloth ready to absorb any water vapor that may stick to your bowl.

Here is how you do the ice bath method:

  1. Prepare a bowl that is bigger than the bowl you use for the chocolate. Fill it with ice and water. The presence is water is crucial as it evenly distributes the temperature of the bowl. Make sure that the ice bowl is not too full, so that water does not get into the bowl of chocolate.
  2. Using the bain-marie method, heat the chocolate until it reaches the first temperature.
  3. Put the bowl of chocolate on the ice bath. Stir the chocolate until it reaches the second temperature. Set the chocolate aside once in a while to prevent it from cooling too rapidly.
  4. Put the chocolate back into the bain-marie and heat it until its working temperature.

Method 3: Tabling

Level of difficulty: High

Tabling is a method that requires expertise and experience. You also need special equipment, which is a slab or kitchen table made out of granite or marble. These materials are chosen for their excellent thermal properties, which enable them to quickly cool the chocolate down.

Here is how to do the tabling method:

  1. Using the bain-marie or microwave method, heat the chocolate until the first temperature.
  2. Pour ⅔ of the melted chocolate on top of a granite or marble surface.
  3. Using a scraper and spatula, evenly spread the melted chocolate then agitate it. Do this repeatedly until the chocolate reaches the second temperature.
  4. Put the cooled chocolate back into the rest of the melted chocolate, then stir it until it reaches the working temperature.

Has Your Chocolate Been Tempered Properly?

has your chocolate been tempered

After you have tempered your chocolate, you need to check whether the chocolate has actually been tempered properly.

Dip the edge of a spoon or knife into the chocolate, set aside, and let it set at room temperature.  If it has been tempered properly, it will harden in 3-5 minutes. It will also not leave a mark when you touch it.

If it has not been tempered properly, it will have white spots (fat bloom), have a grainy or crumbly appearance, and won’t harden completely.

Tempering is a pretty complicated process. It is totally normal if you don’t get it right on the first try; keep practicing so you can master the method of tempering chocolate of your choice.

If you are looking for couverture chocolate for your business, consider using Embassy Chocolate. We provide versatile premium couverture chocolate that has high fluidity, making it easy to use for professionals and novices alike. For more information, contact us by clicking here

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